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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  February 21, 2013 6:00am-6:30am PST

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welcome to nhk world "newsline." a massive explosion has torn through damascus killing 35 people and injuring more than 200. the explosion occurred before noon on thursday near the headquarters of the ruling baath party. state run television played footage of the scene. the reporter said the blast was a terrorist plot and blamed anti-government forces. yet, an opposition activist says the bombing was conducted by the basharal assad government in
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order to scapegoat the opposition. the blast was caused by a car bomb and that casualties would rise. violence is getting worse in damascus. they launched mortar attacks against the palace. japan's prime minister is on his way to one of his most important meetings of the year. shinzo abe is flying to washington for his first talks with u.s. president barack obama since he took office in december. their agenda is packed and their discussions are expected to touch on everything from a wide-ranging free trade deal to punishing north korea. >> translator: i want the summit talks to show the international community that japan and the united states have restored the strong bond of their alliance. >> abe says that alliance became unstable during the former democratic party-led administration. he says he's going to talk to obama about the u.s.-led negotiations for the transpacific partnership.
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nations that joined the discussions for the free trade agreement are supposed to in principle eliminate all tariffs, but abe doesn't want to abide by the precondition. abe and obama are expected to share ideas on what to do about north korea. scientists in the country last week carried out their third nuclear test. the leaders are expected to agree to push for a u.n. security council resolution imposing new sanctions on pyongyang. government officials say the prime minister will tell the president that he will implement a bilateral security agreement dating back to 2006. that deal calls for the relocation of the u.s. marine corps futenma air station within the prefecture to a less populated area in the city of nago. u.s. researchers say authorities in north korea may be ready to conduct another underground nuclear test. they have detected more activity
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at a facility in the country's northeast. a team from johns hopkins university released a report showing the latest satellite photos. one of the pictures was taken on february 13th, a day after the test. the other was taken two days after that. the researchers say the first photo shows no movement around the site. they speculate that personnel stayed away until they could confirm radiation levels were safe. the second picture shows an entrance to a tunnel covered with nets along with some people and vehicles. the researchers believe workers were removing data and equipment from the site and they say they noticed a new road near another tunnel. authorities in pyongyang have given a hero's welcome to those who carried out the test. officials from the ruling workers party invited engineers to the capital. state-run television show "the big welcome." afternoon they organized the event to drum up solidarity. kim jong un has drawn his soldiers up for battle.
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he wants to penalize north korea for the test. the state-run tv reported kim visited an air force unit with senior officers of the korean people's army. he presented soldiers with commemorative binoculars and a rifle. then he watched paratroopers train. kim urged the commanders to remember the deeds of his late father and grandfather. he ordered them to increase combat capabilities and prepare for war. south korean and american defense officials say they're ready for any new provocations coming from the north. they announced they'll begin annual drills or annual joint military drills, that is, next month involving thousands of soldiers. the exercises are scheduled to run from the beginning of march through the end of april and happen across south korea. south korean commanders will take charge of what's called a map exercise. that's where a military
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situation is laid out on a map and then solved. the allies have never before performed this exercise together. it's used to check the chain of command. u.s. military leaders plan to transfer control to south korean forces during emergencies on the peninsula starting in 2015. the two months of drills will include field combat and transport training. defense officials want to enhance the mobility of air, ground and naval forces. about 10,000 u.s. soldiers are expected to take part, some of them will come -- or will be coming from outside south korea. u.s. computer security experts have linked the chinese military to cyber attacks on american firms. they say they have broken through fire walls and stolen trade secrets but chinese leaders insist they are not to blame. michio kijima reports. >> reporter: hackers have more in u.s. firms and have hit a range of targets including air space, energy and information technology companies. some are household names such as
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apple, facebook and twitter. managers at the firms revealed this month they were hit by hackers. someone stole the computer have passwords last october of employees of "the new york times." >> that point we were pretty certain there were some hackers in our network and the fbi said, as did at&t, this had all the hallmarks of hacking by the chinese military. >> reporter: officials at the department of homeland security pulled up some numbers to illustrate what's happening. they say hackers just hit nine u.s. firms in 2009. two years later that figure jumped to 198. analysts at a computer security firm called mandiant blame a unit of the chinese military. the analysts issued this report exposing one of chinese espionage units and they referred to hackers known as the
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advanced persistent threat. and they say the groups conducting these activities are based primarily in china and they say the chinese government is aware of them. the analysts say a group known as apt1 has targeted nearly 150 victims over seven years, institutions and companies around the world. they concluded that the group is likely government sponsored. they traced apt1 to four computer networks in shanghai. the analysts linked two of the networks to a unit of the people's liberation army. unit commanders are said to recruit students with computer skills who are fluent in english. they are believed to have recruited several hundred to several thousand members. u.s. law enforcement officials have launched a campaign to crack down on those stealing trade secrets.
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>> as critical technologies have advanced, criminals have adapted accordingly. our need to keep pace with these changes remains imperative and the stakes have never really been higher. >> reporter: chinese government officials say they are not involved. they say many of the attacks come from the u.s. >> translator: china has also been targeted by hackers. it's irresponsible and unprofessional to make groundless accusations. it does not help in resolving the hacking issue. >> now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid. >> reporter: u.s. president barack obama issued an executive order to protect u.s. infrastructure. he and other leaders have raised most of their concerns with the chinese in private. the report can serve as a more public warning to beijing. sony will launch a video game console with brand new features later this year. they hope the first new model in seven years will revitalize the
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sluggish sales of game consoles. smart phones and tablets are dominating the market for games. >> this is the foundation of ou >> sononononononononononononono new model will hit the market in time for the year end holiday season. the new controller has a touch pad for easy operation. the adoption of cloud technology enables users to play online. users can also download game software to smart phones and tablets and share game screens through social networks. a new life sized foundation in the u.s. has awarded $3 million prizes to each of 11 researchers including a japanese nobel laureate. the new award is worth more than twice the nobel prize. the new award is worth more than twice the nobel prize. professor shinya yamanaka was
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one of the recipients. he received the nobel prize for his research into ips cells. the break-through prize in life sciences was created to recognize research that could lead to curing hard-to-treat diseases. facebook ceo mark zuckerberg launched the prize along with google co-founder, sergey brin, arthur levinson and others. they are calling it the largest ever award in the field. professor yamanaka is honored to have been awarded the prize and expressed deep appreciation to his colleagues and family. he also says he would like to accelerate his work to begin clinical trials for ips cells and put them to practical use. when japanese people want to unwind, there's nothing many enjoy more than a hot spring bath with thousands of them all over the country, that's not hard to achieve. hot springs have other uses too. a group of engineers from the steam-rich southern island have
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developed a new type of power generator. the new system uses both hot water and steam. it can produce enough electricity to supply several households. it has two turbines. the hot water first turns one turbine. the steam turns the other. the hot springs energy is harnessed more efficiently than if the two sources are used separately. japan has abundant geothermal activity because of its many volcanos. its underground steam could produce more than 20 million kilowatts, the third most of any country in the world. only 2% of this power is being regularly used. one reason is that many potential sources are in national parks. strict environmental regulations
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are in place. another reason is the high cost of tapping steam from deep underground. the engineers hope the small generator could solve these problems. they hope to improve the machine so it could produce enough electricity for 100 households. the prime minister's visit has stirred controversy over the two nation's shared history. we're following the story from bangkok. the latest controversy is about exactly that, a jewel in a crown in the royal collection. the 105 carat diamond was presented to queen victoria by the british governor general of colonized india in 1850. one of the largest diamonds in the world is on display in the
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tower of london. some indians are demanding that britain give it back. reuters reports that cameron says returning the diamond would not be the right approach. he made the comment on wednesday, the last day of his visit when he became the first serving british prime minister to voice publicly a sense of regret about the 1919 killing of unarmed civilians. the massacre was one of the bloodiest episodes of the colonial era. >> i came here to pay my respects and to remember all those innocent people that died. this was a deeply shameful event in british history. >> the diamond is just one of many cultural assets collected by colonizing countries from the lands they controlled. cameron said he doesn't believe in what he called returnism and that he wants britain's museums and cultural institutions to
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look after precious objected and share them with the world. rapid industrialization is taking its toll on the environment. in vietnam, pollution is spreading from urban areas into the countryside and even affecting people's health. for them, a new collaboration with japan to clean up the natural environment can't come soon enough. we have more from hanoi. >> reporter: vietnam's economy is racing ahead. but not everybody is moving forward. streets in hanoi are full of cars and motor bikes. across the country, factories pour harmful substances into the environment. this river running through the capital is dangerously contaminated. harmful chemical readings are 30 times higher than the maximum alould allowed by the government. people living down stream are
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suffering the consequences. this man and his wife while born and raised in this village. they are farmers who survive by growing rice and other crops. his legs are the result of years walking in the rice patties. a government investigator told him chemicals are in the water to blame. >> translator: the water i fill my patties with is black. my legs itch from working in the rice fields. water shouldn't be black. but i have no choice but to use that terrible water for farming. >> reporter: he worries about pollution. a new deal originating in japan is gaining public attention. the japan international cooperation agency is encouraging japanese companies to start environmental business
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in vietnam by extending low interest loans. a ceremony to mark the first project under the program took place in kobe, japan, last month. this man walks the company that received a loan. the firm has advanced technology for processing sewage and industrial waste water. the company has been looking to enter the vietnam market. it began inspecting polluted areas of the country four years ago. they discovered that even though many industrial complexes in vietnam have waste water processing facilities, often they don't function properly. for the japanese farm, that's a business opportunity. >> translator: this color, no way.
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absolutely not. the water was supposedly just processed. but the processing facility isn't working properly. this work is purely cosmetic. >> his company had a problem with funding. after a loan of $41 million, it formed a joint venture with a vietnamese program to facilitate waste water facilities. there the japanese firm's technology to build and operate a plant to process polluted river water for industrial use. the processor cleans industrial waste water and return it to the river. japan also suffered from pollution during its years of rapid economic growth. that bitter experience faced with environmental know how and
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technology. the vietnamese government is making it own efforts and the government assistance is also helping. but it seems that not enough to tackle the problem. the new population is raising hopes that technology from japan will have a real impact on the lives and well-being of people in vietnam. nhk world, hanoi. that wraps up our bulletin. i'm reporting from bangkok. hitting children as a way of punishment in schools or corporal punishment is a source of controversy in many countries. in japan, the issue was highlighted when a high school student committed suicide after his basketball coach hit him repeatedly.
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in the united states, some parents and education officials are now pushing for a ban. nhk world's widad franco has the story. >> reporter: parents and educators have argued for years about whether it's ever right to hit a child. the state is one of 19 in which corporal punishment is legal. earlier this month, officials with the state board of education passed a resolution opposing the practice in public schools. >> all those in favor? >> aye. >> all those opposed? >> no. >> 10. >> 10-1.
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>> 10-1, okay. >> reporter: the resolution is legally nonbinding, but the people at the board of education want lawmakers in the state legislature to ban corporal punishment. >> the education governing body in the state of north carolina thinks that administering corporal punishment is not appropriate and we hope that the general assembly will reconsider. >> reporter: people on the street have lined up on different sides of the debate. >> some truly need a good spanking. i think it's a good thing, as long as it's not in excess. >> i don't think it's up to the public school system to ever touch a child inappropriately. and that's very inappropriate. >> reporter: some cite examples of excessive punishment, including a case at a school in tennessee. >> hello. >> reporter: sandra hall's son, lucas, started kindergarten last august. after eight days in school, he came home with bruises on his
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buttocks. >> i cried. i cried. i knew it was red when he came home. >> reporter: hall confronted the principal who spanked her son. the principal, penny boyd, said she had punished him for throwing crayons at other children. hall took her complaint to the district attorney. police arrested the principal, boyd. a grand jury indicted her last month for child abuse. she'll return to court in june. >> as a trained professional, i think you should have been trained on proper spanking. but my son never got spanked. my son was beat. so i'm 100% against it. >> reporter: corporal punishment is legal in tennessee. still, some school administrators have decided to ban it. wendell marlowe is a principal of a middle school.
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he's kept this paddle for over 30 years. four years ago, he decided not to use it anymore. >> i'm not sure why i still keep it. most of my parents at this point in time that have children here do not feel like corporal punishment is appropriate anymore. they feel like better to talk to the child, it's not worth it anymore. >> reporter: is corporal punishment just an archaic form of child abuse or an effective means of discipline? controversial cases like the one involving 5-year-old lucas are once again sparking the debate in america. widad franco, nhk world, new york. a severe winter storm is causing headaches for travelers across the central u.s. today. robert speta is here with the effect of the storm so far and
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the forecast for the rest of the world. robert? >> we have been watching the storm. it already is causing some problems across portions of arkansas, kansas and missouri. actually in arkansas, due to the freezing rain here, a school bus slid off the road, injuring some of the students and not just this, causing these delays and this disruption of traffic, farther towards the west into arizona, we're talking about the pga tour and that got cancelled here because of the heavy snowfall coming down on the green. this is actually the fairway here with the green in the background. absolutely white here. not something you would expect to see into the middle of arizona, desert there in the background. you can see the cacti sticking up. definitely it's not unheard of to see the snow down here but it really is having an effect on the golf tournament there and now all the energy pulling off towards the east. there are also widespread school closings. in kansas and missouri you'll see about 30 centimeters of snow stretching out towards chicago going into the weekend as that storm system tracks off through the east.
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wichita also the airport has been completely closed, cancelling hundreds of flights out across this area. it's not just going to have this effect here but cascading farther east as that storm does track off. then we're talking about the severe weather, especially along the gulf coast here. all that moisture coming in from the south clashing with the cold air from the north, you're going to see the risk of hail, damaging winds and even a tornado could come out of this. definitely do not be surprised as that squall line tracks off here towards the east. so definitely a 1, 2, 3 punch from the storm system. very messy all around. farther off towards the east ahead of that cold front, temperatures on the warm side. washington, d.c., not so much so. 4 only for your high and up towards winnipeg, all that arctic air spilling in, minus 11 here only getting up to here on your thursday.
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let's take a look at eastern asia, first talk about the tropics across the philippines. we've been watching a weak tropical depression bringing heavy rainfall. you have that moisture inflow coming in from the east even off towards vietnam, that storm system gradually weakening. don't expect this to maintain tropical depression intensity going into the next 24 hours. it will become a remnant low but producing all sorts of wet weather here. and then unfortunately you have this system as it tracks off toward the east, another one will start to impact you through the weekend by early next week bringing yet another shot of rainfall. so really going to make the situation much worse down there. farther off towards the north we'll be talking about snow actually and across japan, ski country in general, skiers rejoice and snowboarders alike because you'll be seeing about 50 centimeters of snowfall here. coming by some gusty winds at times. if you're not into the winter sports, not too excited about this. tokyo remaining on the dry side
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and then across much of northeastern china also remaining dry with the exception of shanghai. you'll see heavy fog. now, lastly i want to end the note here, we're continuing to watch a tropical cyclone. look at that eye right in there. it is still packing some very strong winds about 148 kilometers per hour. storm surge very high risk along the southern portions of madagascar. really the main risk is this heavy rainfall. 200 to 300 millimeters expected. flooding in low-lying areas. very well could see some landslides as it does push and skirt the southern coast so really a serious threat. not to mention, you're still recovering from absolutely devastating floods which have affected thousands of people here. that is a look at your world weather at this time. here's the extended forecast. we are back in 30 minutes with more of the latest. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks very much for joining us.
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have a great day wherever you are.
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